What should I expect? "possible ACL issues"

Hi all --- what should I expect tomorrow when our vet said this today?

"we think your dog has an ACL issue and suspect that surgery is necessary. Call the surgery center to set an appointment for tomorrow."

Yikes!  Our bulldog is 4 and has been limping for about a week.  How normal and "easy" is this to deal with?



Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Wow, this is not something I'd rush into...

lots of people, including myself, have had success with complete rest and anti inflammatories for a month to 6 weeks.  That means having him penned up, go outside on a leash and no jumping on furniture.  Our guy has totally recovered after that and is doing great almost a year later.  Unless he is in extreme pain, I would sure try the rest first.  

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture


it's a little more expensive to use an ortho vet, but I would do that rather than have a regular vet do it.

Monica-Maude-Gus's picture

Could not agree more with Kathy!

Do not jump into surgery for this. We took Maude to our vet when she started limping. He said her ACL was strained and to do crate rest for 2-3 weeks and see if she was better. He also suggested starting her on glucosamine chondotrin. Crate rest did the trick for her. We moved her crate from the kitchen into the living room so that she would be with everyone and she did really well. We continue to give her and our other two dogs glucosamine every day.


Monica, Maude and Gus

Shannon and Winston's picture

how did your appointment go??

I agree, this is something that needs to be really considered thoroughly (and second opinions are a good thing). We went through the surgery last year for Winston (you can read my answer below to Clint's question (my answer was posted on April 2nd) to read a bit more.


Shannon and Winston :)

My swimming bully buddy!

My swimming bully buddy!

Follow up --- appointment was today...

Thanks everyone.  The surgeon said exactly what you all said --- think about it for a week to a month.  He said it was definitely a torn ACL  and explained the two surgical options (to my husband; I wasn't there) but also talked about just rest and "living with it."  No pressure at all either way.  We are going to watch him.  He is on some pain meds too (from the original vet who is "famous" with bulldog owners).  My husband was very pleased with this surgeon (in Dallas, TX).  If we do go the surgery route, it will be $2800-3200.  He did mention that often it happens to the other leg too, even with surgery.

So, we'll see.....  I'd hate to change his quality of life, but I do worry about anesthesia a third time (neutered and eye surgery).  Though he has a great nose and palette, apparently.  Thanks for any advice.

Also... pain level

the surgeon said our dog was probably at a 3 (out of 10) for pain and is already learning to "deal" with it.  That made my husband feel better that he was not in excrutiating pain.  But the limping is pitiful :(

Just had both legs done on my boy :(

I just had to have both of my boys done. He blew one, had surgery on 3/7, then 3 weeks later blew the other one. He just had the 2nd surgery on the 1st. His were totally gone, so he was in extreme pain and not something that can fix itself because it wasn't just a tear. He is actually walking better then before the surgeries, the little bit he is doing. (for potty etc.; It is a long recovery time, 12 weeks if you go the old fashioned way, not TPLO with the metal rods.
The vet told us after the first one that there was a 60% chance of the other one going within a year, never thought it was going to be 3 weeks! We had the surgery done on the 2nd one now, to revent arthritis which sets in fast.
I took my baby to my breeders vet because he is awesome and awesome with bully's. He is a 3 hour drive for me to get to though, but he is worth it and so is the peace of mind knowing Jackson was with someone who I trusted. I have used him for other surgeries on my other boy Bean, pallate, cherry eye, nares etc. For the ACL, the vet quoted me $1550, but the first one was only $1207 and the 2nd was $1297.


Bean, Chloe, Jackson taking over the bed as always!

Where is your vet located?

Those prices for TPLO are much less than half what it costs in this area of NY.